Top 10 Grants For Conservation Projects

Conservation projects require funding to execute and if you happen to have one in mind but do not have the finance to execute it, you can apply for grants for conservation projects and get the necessary funding to bring your project to life. This blog post shares information on the donors that offer grants for conservation projects.

According to Wikipedia, conservation projects are programs undertaken by conservation and environmental organizations to protect biodiversity, wildlife, wild places, or endangered species. These projects usually require a lot of funds to execute depending on the scale of the project, whether it is a community, local, national, or international-based conservation project.

Many of these conservation projects have immensely contributed to the good life we live today. Examples of conservation programs include drinking water protection, reducing soil erosion, wildlife habitat preservation, and preservation and restoration of forests and wetlands. As you can see, these are activities that come with a long-term beneficial impact.

Executing conservation projects can cost a lot of money but there are organizations out there that can be a donor to your project and help you with the necessary funding to execute that project. The funds are non-repayable though.

There are many donors that offer grants for conservative projects but each of them has the specific type of projects they support. This is another important detail to look out for in this article. By knowing the kind of projects a donor supports, you can be able to easily find one that matches with your conservation projects and apply for their grants.

Just like scholarships for college students, each of the grants for conservation projects have eligibility requirements and criteria that recipients must meet in order to receive the funding. Application for the grants is typically online.

grants for conservation projects

Grants for Conservative Projects

Through extensive research, I have gathered all the top grants for conservative projects there are on the internet and listed them here, with their details, to help organizations and individuals easily find donors that can help fund their conservation projects. Without any further ado, let’s get into them:

  • The Rufford Foundation
  • EDGE of Existence Programme
  • Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
  • The Conservation Nation Grant Program
  • Darwin Initiative
  • Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)
  • The Ashden Awards
  • Disney Conservation Fund
  • U.S. Department of State – Countering Wildlife Trafficking in Latin America
  • Rapid Response Facility (RRF)

1.     The Rufford Foundation

This is a foundation whose funding goes to nature conservation projects in developing countries. To be eligible for the funding, your project must have a focus on nature conservation, if you happen to be working on any species then that species must be considered threatened, your project must not be in a restricted country, and it should be in the early stages of your conservation career.

Rufford Foundation does not fund undergraduate students, its main focus is on MSc and Ph.D. students or those who have recently graduated from such studies. The value of the grant starts at £6,000 and increases to £15,000 for projects that complete each stage. If you are unsuccessful, you can re-apply after 12 months.

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2.     EDGE of Existence Programme

The EDGE of Existence Programme provides funding to conservationists and scientists whose focus is specifically on protecting threatened species. To be eligible, you must be an early-career conservationist with at least 10 years of paid experience and a resident of the country in which the proposed species occurs. Preference will be given to candidates with at least an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject or equivalent experience.

Application documents for the program include an application form, map of the project site, CV, photograph, two letters of support, and proof of scuba diving skills. The award includes a two-year Fellowship program which comes with a 10,000 GBP grant, a Rapid Feasibility Award between 5,000 – 10, 000 GBP on average, and an unspecified full award.

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3.     Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

One of the primary focuses of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation is on the environment and social change. The foundation provides grants for our natural world, a fairer future, and creative, confident communities. So, if your project falls under one of these three aims, you can go ahead and apply for the Esmee Fairburn Foundation grants.

The foundation funds only organizations, individuals are not funded and academic research is not funded either unless it can demonstrate real potential for practical outcomes. Also, the foundation only gives grants to projects that take place in the UK or will primarily benefit the UK. The minimum value of the grant is 30,000 GBP and is awarded over a period of 3-5 years.

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4.     The Conservation Nation Grant Program

This grant aims to build a stronger community of conservation practitioners that will help save endangered animals and their ecosystems and to address the global wildlife conservation challenge. If you are an individual who wants to become a conservationist, the Conservation Nation Grant Program can provide you with a grant of $10,000 for up to two years to study the course and become a professional.

Documents required for the grant application must include a completed application form, project summary, background, goals and objectives, target outcomes, evidence of community involvement, CV, and letter of support from your partner organization.

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5.     Darwin Initiative

Darwin Initiative offers one of the top grants for conservation projects. There are 4 initiative schemes; Extra, Main, Innovation, and Capability and Capacity. The Extra initiative scheme is for projects relating to biodiversity and poverty reduction. This scheme provides grants between £600,000 and £5,000,000 for projects lasting between 2 to 5 years maximum. The Main initiative scheme is for environmental projects and provides grants between £100,000 and £600,000 for projects lasting 1 to 3 years maximum.

The Innovation Initiative scheme provides grants for projects intending to test a novel approach that if proven could scale to deliver results for biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. This scheme will provide grants between £10,000 to £200,000 for projects lasting between 1 to 2 years maximum.

And finally, the Capability & Capacity initiative scheme funds projects that focus on developing the capability and capacity of a national and local organization to efficiently deliver effective and successful biodiversity conservation – poverty reduction projects. The grants provided are between £50,000 – £200,000 for projects lasting 1 to 2 years maximum.

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6.     Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)

CEPF provides funding to projects located within a biodiversity hotspot where CEPF currently works. The organization can either receive a small grant of about $15,000 or a large grant of about $150,000 if their project is eligible. The project must also support at least one strategic direction outlined in the CEPF ecosystem profile for the hotspot. 

Preference is given to projects that demonstrate a leading role for local organizations and/or explicit focus on capacity building for local civil society and to Projects that show that they will coordinate with other organizations to prevent duplication of efforts are preferred, as are projects that work with partnerships and alliances.

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7.     The Ashden Awards

If you have an outstanding climate solution that will take humanity towards a fairer and better zero-carbon future then you can enter the Ashden Awards and stand a chance to win a grant of £20,000 in cash, publicity, and connections with policymakers, partners, and funders. The award is held annually, so, if you missed it this year, set a reminder for the following year.

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8.     Disney Conservation Fund

The Disney Conservation Fund is a program of the Walt Disney Company where it offers grants worth up to $50,000 for 2 years. The grant goes to those who study wildlife, projects that are aimed towards protecting habitats and community conservation, and education by supporting conservation organizations focused on long-term positive impacts.

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9.     U.S. Department of State – Countering Wildlife Trafficking in Latin America

If you have a brilliant project that can counter the trafficking of wildlife and eliminate poaching operations in Latin America, you can apply for this grant to set up the project. The grant value is between $750,000 to $3 million. The category of funding must be under the law, justice, and legal services.

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10.  Rapid Response Facility (RRF)

The RRF disburses grants to combat emergency issues that threaten biodiversity. The funding is provided for conservation emergencies in UNESCO natural world Heritage sites. To be eligible for the funding, the threatened site must be located in an eligible country and it must be a listed UNESCO Natural World Heritage site.

Funds are not disbursed to individuals but to organizations and for the organization to be eligible, it could be a government body responsible for site management, NGOs, or private sector organizations. Applicants are accepted all year round and there are no deadlines. The value of the grant can be up to $40,000 or more.

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